ORGAN OF THE ROMAN THEOLOGICAL FORUM
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Living Tradition, Oblates of Wisdom, P.O. Box 13230, St. Louis, MO 63157, USA
|No. 152||Roman Theological Forum | Article Index | Study Program||May 2011|
A CANONICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE TEACHING IN HUMANAE VITAE
In 1968 Pope Paul VI issued the Encyclical Humanae Vitae1 (HV) to present the Church’s response to some very important moral questions on the transmission of human life. This document was met with dissent and disobedience from many in the Church. Some of these Catholics call the teaching ‘controversial’ to signify their disagreement and dissent, but not wanting to publicly declare their non-adherence, as dissent is not allowed in the Church.2
We will show that according to canon law3 the teaching in HV is in fact an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church according to her doctrinal statements, and that HV is not at all a controversial document. What is controversial really is the dissent that some of “Christ’s faithful”4 i.e. Catholics, have shown to this document. To be faithful and to dissent are contradictory terms and hence its controversy!
Infallibility means freedom from error. This is a quality we ascribe to God, and to the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ. Since the Catholic Church exists to continue the mission of Christ, on her Magisterium5 is conferred a share of his own infallibility.6 And so we believe that Christ “endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.” According to the Code of Canon Law,7 the exercise of this charism takes several forms:
Can. 749, §1: By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.
§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.
§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.
In other words, the three occasions when a Catholic doctrine can be infallibly proposed or taught by the Church are:
i. When the Pope speaks ‘ex cathedra’ (“from the (papal) throne”) on a matter of faith and morals (§1)
ii. At an ecumenical council (§2),
iii. From the universal and ordinary Magisterium (§2)
Both (i) and (ii) are solemn defining acts by the extraordinary Magisterium (i.e. the Pope alone or with an ecumenical council), and it concerns doctrine either to be believed as divinely revealed or to be held definitively. Cases in (iii) are non-defining acts, whereby the doctrine is still infallibly taught but by the universal and ordinary Magisterium.
These teachings can be confirmed or reaffirmed by the Pope, without recourse to a solemn definition, by declaring explicitly that it belongs to the teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium as a truth that is either to be believed as divinely revealed or to be held definitively.8
We should note that the universal and ordinary Magisterium of the Church is the “usual expression of the Church’s infallibility.”9
Some examples of infallible teachings belonging to (i) and (ii) are the articles of faith of the Creed, the various Christological dogmas10 and Marian dogmas (Mother of God, Mary’s perpetual virginity, the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady’s Assumption), the doctrine of the institution of the sacraments, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the doctrine on papal primacy and infallibility of the Pope, the doctrine on Original Sin, and the doctrine on the grave immorality of direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being.11
With regard to those infallible teachings belonging to (iii), we can include here the teaching of papal infallibility and primacy of jurisdiction before its dogmatic definition by the First Vatican Council in 1870. Prior to its definition, this teaching was already believed to be a true doctrine and hence to be held as definitive. A similar situation can also be seen in the doctrine that only men were to be ordained as priests. The Pope had merely reaffirmed that this doctrine is to be held definitively, and thus this teaching is set forth as infallible by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.12 And as with the Infallibility doctrine, this teaching on ordination can be solemnly defined by the Pope at a future date as a doctrine to be believed as divinely revealed.13
Other examples of infallible teachings arising from the universal and ordinary Magisterium which are taught as definitive include the teaching on the illicitness of euthanasia14 from Evangelium Vitae, and on the illicitness of prostitution15 and fornication.16
Finally, HV 417 was included as footnote 13 in the 1998 Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei18 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) 6, when it was elaborating on the teachings that have been definitively proposed by the Church. These teachings must be firmly accepted and held by the faithful, “based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Magisterium and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters.”19
The inclusion of HV 4 here is very significant where the CDF’s document was speaking of teachings definitively proposed as infallible but not as formally revealed.
Perhaps the clearest and most precise statement from the magisterium on the status of this teaching is found in the 1997 document Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life (Morality of Conjugal Life – Handbook for Confessors) issued by the Pontifical Council for the Family. It states in paragraph 4:
“The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable.”
This declaration from an organ of the Magisterium that the teaching is definitive and irreformable indicates its infallible status.20 But, as some have questioned the competence of the Pontifical Council for the Family to make such a declaration, it is necessary to understand how the Pope governs the Church. The Pope usually conducts the business of the universal Church through the Roman Curia, which is composed of the Secretariat of State or Papal Secretariat, the Council for public affairs of the Church, the Congregations, the Tribunals and other Institutes.21 The constitution and competence of each of these is defined by the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.22
The Pontifical Council for the Family is constituted as a dicastery23 by Pastor Bonus, just as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the rest of the Roman Curia are so constituted.
According to Pastor Bonus, matters dealing with the competence of more than one dicastery (e.g. contraception) would be examined by both the Council for the Family and the CDF.24 It is also required by Pastor Bonus that documents published by any dicastery touching on faith or morals must have the CDF’s prior approval.25 This in fact has been acknowledged in the final paragraph of the document’s Presentation.
So, clearly the document belongs to the universal and ordinary Magisterium, as the Roman Curia and its dicasteries are constituted to assist the Pope in his supreme pastoral function for the whole Church.26
In addition to the Vademecum, we quote three other major magisterial documents that echo the teaching in HV, signifying the consistency and coherence of the Church on this issue.
This teaching was affirmed in the 1981 Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, by Pope John Paul II in paragraph 29, : “ … love between husband and wife must be fully human, exclusive and open to new life,” quoting Humanae Vitae, no. 11.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church,27 in paragraph 2370, is equally clear that “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically28 evil.29
Then again, in the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, where the Pope was speaking about intrinsically evil acts and cited the use of contraceptives as an example, reference was made to Humanae Vitae, 1430 in the footnotes.31
The Theology of the Body (TOB) was the first major catechetical project of Pope John Paul II from 1979 to 1984 consisting of 129 talks at the Wednesday General Audience Addresses. It has been described by Christopher Cardinal Schönborn as having the defense of HV as its main goal.32 Pope John Paul II himself points to HV as the true focus of TOB as a whole.
In a sense we can even say that the entire catechesis on the body (Theology of the Body) “seems to constitute an extensive commentary on the doctrine contained precisely in Humanae Vitae”.33
Some authors have tried to dismiss any teaching authority of TOB, preferring to consider it as merely the reflections of a private theologian34 or that it has little or no authoritative character.35 But most of all one should insist that TOB is a catechesis36 proposed by the Bishop of Rome for the universal Church.37 “To a remarkable degree, this account of catechesis resembles the actual method and content of TOB.” “No other catechetical cycle delivered by John Paul II after TOB has a similarly strict and close relationship with the very core and essence of catechesis as defined in Catechesi Tradendae. TOB seems to be John Paul II’s catechesis par excellence.”38
As such, we can conclude that TOB, as a catechesis, rightfully belongs to the universal & ordinary papal Magisterium, whose focus was the defense of HV.
Even the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes 51, states that “sons of the Church may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law.” This passage in footnote 14 then refers to Pius XI’s 1930 Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii, which has condemned contraception.
Finally, Pope Benedict XVI has recently described the teaching in HV as the only way to understand human sexuality.39 We shall now look at the requirements of canon law for the teaching in HV to be proposed as infallible.
(Can. 749 §2:) “The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops … when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, are agreed that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.”
This was proposed by Fr John Ford, SJ and Germain Grisez’s landmark article “Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium.”40 In their analysis, they looked at the four necessary conditions when the bishops dispersed throughout the world proclaim a doctrine infallibly as spelled out in Lumen Gentium,41 25. The conditions are:42
(1) The bishops remain in communion with one another and with the Pope;
(2) They teach authoritatively on a matter of faith and morals;
(3) They agree in one judgment;
(4) They propose the doctrine to be held definitively.
They conclude that these conditions have been met in the Church’s teaching on contraception. Their argument remains unchallenged. Some effort to challenge this position was made by Fr Francis Sullivan, SJ43 and responses to this were given by Father Brian Harrison44 and Germain Grisez.45
(Can. 749 §1): “By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.”
This was proposed by Ermenegildo Lio, OFM, in his 1986 book, Humanae Vitae e Infallibilità: il Concilio, Paolo VI e Giovanni Paolo II.46 Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S., in his paper, “The Ex Cathedra Status of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae,”47 develops this theme in support of Fr. Lio’s thesis.
Fr Lio maintains that article 14 of HV contains an ex cathedra definition of the intrinsic immorality of contraception, that is, it was an exercise of papal infallibility as solemnly defined by Vatican I in the Constitution Pastor Aeternus and by canon law.48
Fr. Harrison, in his article, contends that it was not relevant whether Pope Paul VI himself considered HV to be infallible or that he was not certain of that fact at its pronouncement, but rather what mattered was the document itself and its objectively expressed meaning. In fact, Pope Paul VI mentioned that he considered the teaching in HV as bearing a “severe and yet serene certainty” in his year-end address to the College of Cardinals on 23 December 1968.
The Ford–Grisez and the Lio approaches are complementary, and do not contradict each other, as the same doctrine can be proposed as infallible by either or both means.
In fact, it is stated in the CDF’s document, Doctrinal Commentary49 in quoting the Second Vatican Council’s, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium 25, that “such doctrines50 can be defined solemnly by the Roman Pontiff when he speaks ‘ex cathedra’ or by the College of Bishops gathered in council, or they can be taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church as a sententia definitive tenenda (teaching to be held definitively).
Hence we can conclude that the teaching in HV has been defined infallibly, as this is manifestly evident in all the above doctrinal documents of the Catholic Church.51
(Can. 749 §3): “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”
The External Evidence: So far we have been looking at the external evidence by examining the various doctrinal statements, viz.:
• 1979-1984 The Theology of the Body catechesis, Pope John Paul II
• 1981 Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II
• 1992 The Catechism of the Catholic Church
• 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II
• 1997 Vademecum For Confessors Concerning some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, Pontifical Council for the Family
• 1998 Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, CDF.
The Internal Evidence. Now we shall examine the internal evidence, which refers to the actual text in HV itself. In the following excerpts from HV, we can see how they fulfill the essential requirement of can. 749, §152 for an ‘ex cathedra’ infallible teaching.
The conditions can be stated as:
(i) The Pope teaches as the Supreme Pastor /Teacher of the Universal Church;
(ii) Proclaims by a “definitive act”
(iii) On a matter of faith and morals;
(iv) On a teaching that must be held by Catholics.
Quoting from Humanae Vitae (Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI on the Regulation of Birth : July 25, 1968)
“To the venerable patriarchs, archbishops and bishops and other local ordinaries in peace and communion with the Apostolic See; to priests, the faithful and to all men of goodwill.”
(Author’s Comment: The opening statement of the document is very clear here that the pope is addressing this teaching to the Universal Church)
No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation.
(Author’s Comment: The teaching in HV is based on the natural law as interpreted by the Magisterium, and is the will of God which must be obeyed for our salvation.)
6. … Consequently, now that We have sifted carefully the evidence sent to Us and intently studied the whole matter, as well as prayed constantly to God, We, by virtue of the mandate entrusted to Us by Christ, intend to give Our reply to this series of grave questions. …
(Author’s Comment: The intention of the Pope to give a definitive, conclusive and authoritative teaching is clearly indicated here, thus satisfying the condition of a definitive act of proclaiming a teaching)
11. … The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.
12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act. …
(Author’s Comment: The call to all to hold definitively to the teaching in HV)
14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.
Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.
(Author’s Comment: The declaration (condemnation) of the Pope on contraception, abortion, and sterilization is clear, and these are moral teachings.)
Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these.
Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it, in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.
Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong….
20. The teaching of the Church regarding the proper regulation of birth is a promulgation of the law of God Himself. …
(Author’s Comment: This statement that the teaching is a promulgation of the divine law is claiming that the teaching is a divine positive law, a category that espouses an infallible, irreformable, and divine quality. The need to observe and obey the law of God is obvious.)
28. And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women and of families - We turn to you filled with great confidence. For it is your principal duty - We are speaking especially to you who teach moral theology - to spell out clearly and completely the Church's teaching on marriage. In the performance of your ministry you must be the first to give an example of that sincere obedience, inward as well as outward, which is due to the magisterium of the Church. For, as you know, the pastors of the Church enjoy a special light of the Holy Spirit in teaching the truth.*
(Author’s Comment: The footnote reference (no. 39) in HV here is significant as it refers to the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, which speaks of the charism of infallibility which the Church possesses.)
And this, rather than the arguments they put forward, is why you are bound to such obedience. Nor will it escape you that if men's peace of soul and the unity of the Christian people are to be preserved, then it is of the utmost importance that in moral as well as in dogmatic theology all should obey the magisterium of the Church and should speak as with one voice. Therefore We make Our own the anxious words of the great Apostle Paul and with all Our heart We renew Our appeal to you: "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." … (Author’s comment: The call for all to obey and hold this teaching is clear.)
31. Venerable brothers, beloved sons, all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of charity to which We now summon all of you. And this We do relying on the unshakable teaching of the Church, which teaching Peter's successor together with his brothers in the Catholic episcopate faithfully guards and interprets. And We are convinced that this truly great work will bring blessings both on the world and on the Church. ”
The excerpts with the appended comments above show that the teaching in HV is clear and in fact very authoritative and definitive in tone. Surely the document represents a ‘definitive act’ by the supreme Pastor of proclaiming a moral doctrine on conjugal morality that is to be held by all Catholics. Thus the text of the document satisfies the ex cathedra requirement of canon 749, §1. Most significantly, it has described this teaching as “the promulgation of the law of God Himself.”53
Some have argued that, because of the controversy and hostility (i.e. widespread dissent) that HV was met with by many Catholics, and secondly, the perception that the Magisterium has been unclear in affirming or declaring the infallible status of the teaching in HV, it therefore fails to satisfy the requirement of can. 749, §3.
The first objection is overcome by the fact that the truth of any Church doctrine is not to be judged by the reception of that doctrine by the masses. Papal infallible definitions need no approval or consent, and are of themselves irreformable.54 Nor is Church doctrine ever decided by a ‘Majority Report’ or any form of democratic voting system. If the reception or rejection whether by a group of theologians or the laity determines the truth of the teaching, then we would have a veto system over the Pope’s declaration.
As for the perception of an ‘unclear’ response of the Magisterium to the widespread dissent, we can propose three possible reasons for this. Also we must bear in mind that it is only a perception held by some people.
The Church has always held that the ordinary and universal Magisterium is the usual expression of the Church’s infallibility.55 Should the Magisterium have to explicitly state in all her teachings what is infallible and what is not, it would lay an onerous burden on her.
The infallible status of a doctrine, while not immediately apparent or self-evident, can be discovered through a proper and systematic investigation applying the canonical criteria, like the attempt of this present paper.
Lastly, perhaps in applying the pastoral law of gradualness, which is not to be confused with the “gradualness of the law”56 , the Church is hoping that Catholics would progress gradually57 from the initial widespread dissent of HV towards its widespread acceptance. Merely declaring that HV is an infallible teaching would not have the desired effect of changing hearts and minds. But the Church, in allowing theologians, philosophers, sociologists, researchers, political leaders, and many other experts, Catholics and non Catholics alike, to study and investigate the historical data and the conjugal morality the Church has proposed, hopes that in the end all would come to embrace the truth of the teaching in HV. The truth of the teachings in HV is confirmed by the broken lives of people who do not live them.
So we have shown, after examining both the internal and external evidence, that from a canonical perspective (according to canon law), the teaching in HV is, in fact, an infallible teaching of the Church.
1 Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), 1968 Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI.
2 “It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being “a good Catholic” and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error. See Pope John Paul II’s address to the U.S. Bishops, 16 Sept. 1987.
3 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) - Code of Canon Law Promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae of Pope John Paul II in 1983. The Code of Canon Law is the Church’s fundamental legislative document and is to be regarded as “a complement to the authentic teaching proposed by the Second Vatican Council and particularly to its Dogmatic and Pastoral Constitutions.”( Sacrae Disciplinae).
4 The CIC has used the term “Christ’s faithful” to mean Catholics in full communion with the Church. (cf .can. 204, §1).
5 Magisterium: the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, consisting of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.
6 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 890.
7 CIC of 1983
8 Cf. Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 9.
9 Pope John Paul II, L’ Osservatore Romano, 24 October 1988, 22.
10 Cf. DS (Denzinger) 301-302
11 Cf. Doctrinal Commentary, 11.
12 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 4.
13 Cf. Doctrinal Commentary, 11
14 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Evangelium Vitae, 65
15 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2355
16 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2353
17 HV, 4 speaks about the competency of the Magisterium to interpret not just “the law of the Gospel but also the natural moral law which is an expression of the will of God, the faithful fulfillment of which is equally necessary for salvation. (Matt 7:21)”
18 The Professio Fidei (Profession of Faith) is a requirement of canon 833 that has to be made by certain key personnel in the Catholic Church undertaking the office of teaching in the Church.
19 Cf. Doctrinal Commentary, 6
20 The Catholic tract Birth Control, which has an imprimatur, quotes the Vademecum and declares the teaching on contraception to be an infallible doctrine. (http://www.catholic.com/library/birth_control.asp).
21 Cf. CIC, can. 360
22 The 1988 Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, Pope John Paul II (legislation that concerns the reform and reorganization of the Roman Curia – the central government of the Roman Catholic Church )
23 Generic term for an agency of Church government, as a subdivision of the Roman Curia. See Richard P. McBrien ed., Encyclopedia of Catholicism, San Francisco, Harper Collins 1995, p. 416.
24 Ibid., Art 21 §1. Matters touching the competence of more than one dicastery are to be examined together by the dicasteries concerned.
25 Ibid., Art 54. Documents being published by other dicasteries of the Roman Curia, insofar as they touch on the doctrine of faith or morals, are to be subjected to its prior judgment.
26 Ibid., Art 1 The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral function for the good and service of the whole Church and of particular churches.
27 The Catechism of the Catholic Church was promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum of Pope John Paul II in 1992, and is declared to be a “sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” (Fidei Depositum).
28 ‘Intrinsically’ is to signify “regardless of intention and in every situation.”
29 Cf. Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 14 (here the document declares its condemnation of contraception and abortion).
31 Cf. Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 80.
32 See Michael Waldstein, John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them: A theology of the body (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2006), xxv.
33 Man and Woman, p.660.
34 G C Dilsaver, “Karol Wojtyla and the Patriarchal Hierarchy of the Family: His Exegetical Comments on Ephesians 5:21-33 and Genesis 3:16,” Christian Order, June/July 2002
35 Charles Curran, The Moral Theology of Pope John Paul II (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 4-5.
36 “Catechesis’ primary and essential object is the mystery of Christ. Catechizing is to lead a person to study this mystery in all its dimensions, … to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Spirit …” (Catechesi Tradendae, 5).
37 Man and Woman p. 17.
38 Man and Woman p. 15.
39 Vatican City, October 3 (CNS). - Marking the 40th anniversary of Humane Vitae, Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message to the president of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, in which he praises the Church's teaching on contraception as the only way to understand the truth about human sexuality.
40 John C Ford, SJ. and Germain Grisez, ”Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium," Theological Studies 39:2, June 1978, pp. 258-312
41 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Document of Vatican II).
42 CIC can. 749, §2.
43 Francis Sullivan, SJ., Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1983), 3-6.
44 Brian Harrison, Living Tradition 2 (December 1985), 3-6.
45 Germain Grisez, “Infallibility and Specific Norms: A Review Discussion,” The Thomist 49:2 (April 1985), 248-287
46 Ermenegildo Lio, OFM., Humanae Vitae e Infallibilità: il Concilio, Paolo VI e Giovanni Paolo II. (Vatican City: Libreria Ed. Vaticana, 1986).
47 September/November 1992 issue of Living Tradition (Organ of the Roman Theological Forum).
48 CIC can. 749, §1
49 Cf. Doctrinal Commentary, 6
50 Like HV, a teaching definitively proposed by the Magisterium but not as divinely revealed.
51 CIC can. 749, §3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.
52 By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when, as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.
53 HV, 20.
54 Cf. Lumen Gentium, 25
55 Cf. “Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium,” Theological Studies 39:2, June 1978, 264-269
56 Cf. Vademecum for Confessors, 9.
57 There is much evidence of this today. See Janet Smith, Why Humanae Vitae was Right: A Reader, Ignatius, and Mary Eberstadt, “The Vindication of Humanae Vitae,” First Things (August/September 2008).